Kiwi trainer Murray Baker is sticking to a tried and tested method with It’s A Dundeel by using tomorrow’s Group 2 $220,000 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley as the three year olds final run before the Victory Derby next week.
Baker won the 2010 Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington with Lion Tamer after the three year old ran second to Rekindled Interest in the Vase at Moonee Valley the week before.
It’s A Dundeel made it five wins from five starts taking out the Group 1 $400,000 Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 6 and Murray had originally planned to go straight to the Derby.
“I tossed it over for a while but I thought he’s a colt and he’s thriving and we don’t want to come up short in the Derby,” Baker said.
“It’s a good form race over the years for the Derby. We ran LionTamer in it and it topped him off nicely.”
It’s A Dundeel has created a huge impression since coming to Australia and has won all four runs this campaign and looks to have a mortgage on the Vase after running down Proisir in the Champion Stakes last start.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Proisir is considered one of the main chances for tomorrow’s Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) and is currently a $9 behind stablemate Pierro who is holding down favouritism at $4.60.
It’s A Dundeel is a very short priced favourite for the Vase and barring any mishaps will be sent out the most fancied in the Derby next week.
“He comes through his races really well, he just bounced straight back but he’s never raced left handed before,” Baker said.
“The horse went around pretty slow on Tuesday but that’s what we wanted. He just needed to burn up a couple of furlongs at the finish.”
Baker took It’s A Dundeel to Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning for Breakfast With The Stars and the three year old strode over 1200m in 1.29.93s, running home the final 400m in a leisurely 26.28s.
The High Chaparral colt rounded off his Vase preparation at Flemington on Thursday doing slightly stronger work clocking 1.20.99s for the 1200m and 25.19 for the last 400m.
It’s A Dundeel is well in the red at $1.20 for tomorrow’s race with his nearest rival the Mark Kavanagh trained Super Cool at $7.